The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Khari Stephenson scores twice to end drought, Earthquakes beat Dynamo 3-0
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Khari Stephenson broke a nearly yearlong scoring drought with two goals to help the San Jose Earthquakes beat the Houston Dynamo 3-0 on Sunday night.
Stephenson, who last scored June 8 for Real Salt Lake, converted off a rare indirect free kick from deep inside Houston's penalty area in the first half, then converted from the penalty spot in the second half.
Atiba Harris knocked in the rebound of his own header off the post for the clincher.
It was the Earthquakes' highest-scoring performance since their season opener. San Jose (3-4-4), which came into the game ranked 18th out of 19 MLS teams at 1.00 goals per match, won for the second time in three games.
Houston (5-7-2) dropped its second straight game, both on the road. Riddled with injuries and national team absences, the Dynamo were playing for the fourth consecutive game with less than a full complement of 18 players.
Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall made a pair of uncharacteristic mistakes to help San Jose's cause. In the 36th minute, Hall picked up a back pass from teammate David Horst, giving the Earthquakes an indirect free kick just outside Houston's 6-yard box.
Shea Salinas touched the ball into the path of Stephenson, who blasted home to the far post.
Stephenson scored again in the 58th minute after teammate Steven Lenhart, making his first appearance since March 29 due to a sprained knee ligament, drew a penalty on Houston defender Corey Ashe.
Harris finished the scoring in the 70th minute, taking advantage after Hall was caught outside of his own box trying to clear a long pass forward by San Jose defender Jordan Stewart. Harris outjumped Hall to head to ball toward goal, then won the race to touch home the rebound for his first goal since June 29.
San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch made six saves for his fourth shutout of the season.
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